Have you ever gone blank during an interview when you were asked to introduce yourself? Even though you knew the answer, you weren’t able to articulate a perfect response.
If yes, then let’s get you acquainted with the perfect way to introduce yourself using an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch that would land you jobs and help you strengthen your network. You can use it anywhere from networking events to interviews, wherever the opportunity presents itself. Unlike the mission statement, an elevator pitch is something that’s spoken.
What is an elevator pitch?
An “Elevator Pitch” is a carefully planned, briefly explained, and well-practiced description about your company that anyone, even if they have no idea about the nature of your work, should be able to understand in a short period of time or, more accurately, the time it would take to ride up an elevator -hence how it was named.
An elevator pitch is also called an elevator statement or elevator speech. Your elevator pitch should typically explain who the thing is for, what it does, why it is needed, and how it will get it done.
Why should you create an Elevator Pitch?
Here are a few reasons how an elevator pitch can help you and your business.
• It presents your idea in a unique yet compelling way.
• The convenience and simplicity of an elevator pitch make the listener very comfortable.
• It is usually delivered in an environment where people are relaxed and more focused on what you’re saying. The smooth delivery makes it easier for the person to respond in a positive manner.
• Getting right to the point makes it less complicated and more valuable to the other person.
• It promotes you and your business in the best possible way.
How to Create an Elevator Pitch
Now that you know what an elevator pitch is and why is it crucial for your business, it’s time to create one. Preparing an elevator pitch can often get very confusing and time-consuming, which is why, we have developed a step-by-step guide to make it simpler for you.
Things to know before preparing your perfect elevator pitch
1. The person you are trying to sell your idea/business to is probably an investor or a businessperson, so the chances are that they have a busy schedule and do not have the time to listen to your whole story. Therefore, you have to keep it very short, concise, clear, and simple.
2. Ideally, you should know who you are selling your idea to. Running a quick online search on them will help you understand what they do and pinpoint what exactly they are looking for. Understand that you can’t use the same elevator pitch for everyone. You always need to customize it according to the person you are presenting it to.
3. In case you are using facts in your pitch, you need to make sure that they are coming from a reliable source. Nothing hurts your credibility more than quoting facts from social media posts without any valid traceable source.
4. Investors are always looking for low-risk and high-profit businesses, so make sure you give them a reason to invest. Highlight return on investment (ROI) if possible.
A checklist of factors to consider when writing an elevator pitch for your business
- Brief and compelling:
It is recommended to make your pitch no longer than 20 to 30 seconds. Make sure you answer the following questions in your elevator pitch:
1. Who are you?
Tell them who you are and what you do. Introduce yourself and your business with enthusiasm.
2. What value does your business provide?
Briefly mention the problems your business has solved or contributions you have made with the help of an example or a case.
3. How is your business different than others?
Explain why they should work with you and describe how your products or services are different from your competitors.
4. How do you do it?
Elaborate on the process you follow by giving a concrete example exhibiting your uniqueness.
5. Why do they need to know this?
Consider telling them why you are interested in them and what can they do for you or your business.
Let’s have a look at one of the winning elevator pitches taken from a Hubspot’s blog-post:
“I’m a sales rep at Better Than the Rest Cable. We help hotels across the U.S. pair with the perfect cable provider and plan for their region and needs. With regional experts assigned to each account, we help hotels identify the most cost-effective and guest-delighting cable plan for them. On average, we’re able to save hotels up to 25% on their annual cable bills.”
Notice the words ‘cost-effective’ and ‘guest-delighting’. This is how you communicate your value proposition concisely.
2. Provide a hook in the beginning:
The opening of your sentence should always grab your listener’s attention either by telling an interesting story or a question or a fact that you feel would get their attention. A hook will help you deliver the pitch smoothly since you have your target’s undivided attention.
3. Include your Unique Selling Proposition (USP):
Identify your strengths and what makes you, your business or your idea unique while differentiating it from your competitors. Use this unique selling proposition in your elevator pitch to make it more compelling.
4. Deliver it with passion:
Make sure you give off a positive vibe by smiling at the other person. Your body language and posture should send positive signals to your listener. Facial expressions play a huge role in non-verbal communication and most experts agree that 70 to 93 percent of all communication is nonverbal. Hence, whatever you’re talking about, speak with passion. Think of all your achievements to boost your confidence while delivering your elevator pitch.
5. Insert a Call-to-action (CTA) in the end:
At the end of your pitch, there must be a request or call-to-action statement to avoid ambiguity. You can either ask for their business card or a referral. It could be anything that benefits you or your business. If you fail to provide a CTA at the end, chances are that the listener will be confused about what you want from them and end up offering you something that you don’t want.
Here’s an example of a perfectly crafted elevator pitch with a CTA at the end:
“Do you hate shearing stubborn alpacas by hand? I’m Joe Neely from DroneClip. I enjoy connecting animal lovers to technologies like our DroneScoop waste solution. I’m here at the Alpaca Festival to learn from you, the experts. Our hands-free DroneClip shearing system outperforms hand-shears so you can limit your employee hours. We saved one rancher, Bob Mikabob, over 40 weekly work-hours. When can I visit your farm, demonstrate our product, and meet your neighbors?”
A checklist of things to avoid when delivering your elevator pitch:
1. It shouldn’t exceed 60 seconds. Ideally, keep it under 40 seconds. That way it will be more effective, and the listener will actively follow what you are saying.
2. Don’t talk too much about yourself. Don’t tell them about your skills that are irrelevant to the business. Nobody’s interested in reading your CV. Instead, make it about them. Briefly tell them what value you can provide to their business and why they should choose you.
3. Do not finish your elevator pitch open-ended. Your pitch needs to have a call-to-action (CTA) to be effective. If it’s not specific, the listener won’t be able to understand what you’re expecting from them.
4. You should never use a monotonous tone while delivering your speech. Your tone should have some kind of energy and positivity. It shouldn’t look like you have memorized it.
Follow the dos and don’ts mentioned above to create your perfect elevator pitch. You can use it to impress an interviewer or the CEO of your dream company that you happen to meet unexpectedly in an elevator. Simply put, use it whenever an opportunity comes up. Do not stick to one elevator pitch for different people, remember to customize it according to your listener’s interests. Keep experimenting with different elevator pitches to see which one works best for you and your business.